Into the Wild (ish)

Yesterday I mentioned I went on a slumber party at the zoo. I know, you wish your weekend was this excellent, but it’s true. On Saturday 25 other grown ups and 2 actual kids spent the night at Wellington Zoo.

Running during the warmer months of Wellington’s weather, these overnight sojourns are usually geared at a (much) younger crowd, and I don’t exactly remember how I agreed to go along (I may have been a little drunk) but I am ever so glad I did.

On Saturday afternoon I panic-packed (MY SPECIALITY) when the rain looked like it wasn’t really going to ease and the team leader suggested we bring wet weather gear. I DO NOT own wet weather gear. I packed my leather jacket and a cotton hat. That’s as close as I get.

Thankfully it was sufficient for trudging around the dark and eerily empty zoo in the darkening hours of the evening. Spotlight on bats and red pandas, on giraffes that ignored us, on animals staying out of the rain. We made parcels of popcorn and dates for the monkeys, we saw the giant zoo freezers, we tried not to trip and fall on the stairs in the rain & the dark.

Behind the scenes at the zoo

Poor frozen chicks

Watching the giraffe-food challenge

Our bedroom was opposite Monkey Island and we spent the evening, in true slumber party fashion, eating treats, painting fingernails, drawing each other pictures, playing games, and talking about travel. It was all incredibly wholesome.

Tucked up in our sleeping bags, on coffin-shaped mattresses on the floor, serenaded by monkeys and by snoring, sleeping was not the best. Although, it was the best I’ve ever slept at the zoo (except I guess that would also make it the WORST I have ever slept at the zoo). We woke to both iPhone and Gibbon related alarms. At 7am it was the earliest I have been awake on a Sunday (not counting still being awake from the Saturday) in a long long time.

The weather had broken overnight and the sky was blue, the trees were green, the water was … kind of green too, and the monkeys were brown. It was just the best – bright daylight, the first sun both we and the zoo had seen in almost a week, and pretty much all of the animals were out roaming their enclosures. It made for some pretty photographs.


Teeny tiny monkeys

I find Sun Bears odd looking


Meerkats (nom nom nom)


Sunday: Giraffes at the Zoo

(I think the giraffe was making up for ignoring us last night)

I see you too


Red Panda peering from the tree

(I said hippos are my favourite but I think I’ll have to change that to the Red Panda)

Red Panda peering from the tree

The Zoo Slumber Party was, all in all, delightful.


366 in 2012

366 in 2012

Saturday: neon-ing a necklace
I worked on my neon-vintage necklace project.
(It is pretty amazing.)

Monday: first shot with my new lens (28mm f2.8)
My new wide angle lens arrived – 28mm f 2.8

Tuesday: my Irish passport arrived
The day my Irish passport arrived.

Wednesday: low low cloud
Clouds so low the airport closed.

Thursday: one of my favourite Wellington buildings
On the corner of Wakefield and Victoria streets, this is one of my favourite buildings in Wellington.

Friday: graffiti alleyway on my way home
I love this graffiti-encrusted alley way.

Saturday: Slumber party at the zoo!
I went to a slumber party at the Zoo (more on that tomorrow!) and they took us to see where they keep the food for the animals.


DIY Neon Necklace

Today was a Momentous day …

My Irish passport

I cried at my desk today.
Not a lot, just a few tears, but I was overwhelmed. So happy it had to leak out of my eyes.

My Irish passport has arrived.

It’s all official. It has my photo, my name, my date of birth, and there, nestled under the heading ‘Náisiúntacht/Nationality’ is proof of my dual citizenship. I am Éireannach/Irish.

Tuesday: my Irish passport arrived

I have been waiting for this exact moment for so long.
When I received the letter advising I’d been granted Irish citizenship, when I received the subsequent certificate of citizenship, it didn’t seem quite real. You can’t use those documents to travel between countries. I had this fear that, at any moment, it could be snatched away from me. No really, I did.

I’m not just crazy. When Craig and I were looking at staying in London it seemed that every time we made a decision to apply for a visa they changed the requirements. So, in my mind, there was precedent.

All of a sudden this pressure, this barrier, this cloud that has been sitting over me for 4 years and 34 days – since, literally, 15th February 2008, is gone. It was all a bit too much to handle.

I am a little scared.
Craig and I could move to London pretty much any time we wanted. If I wanted, I could move tomorrow. All Craig needs is a spouse visa and he could come with me. This is a daunting prospect.

We have no plans at this stage. Our trip to Europe notwithstanding. But just the possibility, the freedom, the certainty. It’s a wonderful feeling.

Also? They returned all of my original documents as well. It really was all fine.

366 in 2012

366 in 2012

Sunday: The Big Top is in town
The big top is in town. We saw it as we went to the Market to eat a lot of food. It was excellent.

Monday: walking along the waterfront
It’s dragonboat festival time – the waterfront is busier than usual.

Tuesday: glitter!
I am a big fan of this window display at Jeans West. Glitter everywhere!

Wedneday: early morning fishing
Some mornings the harbour is just beautiful.

Thursday: DOG VASE! I love it
My dog vase arrived. Christopher deemed it ‘delightfully ridiculous’. Which is pretty much how I live my life.

Friday: admission to the bar
I went to see Hubert (not his real name) get admitted to the bar. It was exactly as I thought it would be.

Saturday: World's quietest St Patrick's Day
My first St Patrick’s Day as an Irish Citizen was pretty underwhelming.


black and grey

I am sure it will all be fine.

Sunday: travel books at the library

Everything is sorted, everything is planned, everything can still go wrong.

Flights are booked, accommodation is booked, and just last week Craig and I booked our train travel in Europe. London to Edinburgh, Berlin to Prague, Venice to Florence to Rome*.

I am ever so excited.
I’m sure train travel in Europe has largely been romanticised but, damnit, it has worked. I am dreaming of watching the countryside roll by. Of arriving into mediaeval Prague in such an old-fashioned method. Perhaps, ideally, it should be a horse and carriage but horses scare me and I’m not that much of a romantic, not really.

All this anticipation is making it very very difficult to be without my passport. Or birth certificate. Or marriage certificate. Any identifying documents of any kind really.

Yes. In order to get my Irish passport I have had to send all my original documentation, all proof of my state-sanctioned-self to … I’m not exactly sure where. Presumably Ireland. Or maybe just Auckland.

It takes six weeks for an Irish passport to be crafted and posted to New Zealand. As of today it has been four weeks since I posted it and we are booked to leave New Zealand in six weeks.

I am getting anxious. Perhaps it will not arrive in time. Perhaps they will lose the whole precious bundle. If that happens I won’t even be able to get a new New Zealand passport because they have all official proof of my existence. All I have is my university degree. And that does not count. The trip will be cancelled and I will melt, thaw, and resolve into a dew.
It can’t happen.

I am sure, Shakespearean hyperbole aside, that it will all be fine. But each Tuesday that passes passportless is harder and harder to take.

In the mean time I will immerse myself in guidebooks. I am sure it will all be fine. I am sure it will all be fine. I am sure it will all be fine.

* Yes. There are a couple of trips missing from the list. It turns out that you can’t pre-book for the overnight train, and booking for the bus from Prague to Munich can only be done 60 days before you travel. So there’s that.

366 in 2012

366 in 2012

Sunday: High Tea at Martha's Pantry
My mother was having her nails done in town so we decided to girl it up even more by going for High Tea at Martha’s Pantry. The tiny cakes and sandwiches were adorable and delicious.

Monday: paint by Freyberg Pool
Craig and I went swimming. I love this paint by Freyberg Pool. I can never work out if it’s an artful error or just random graffiti.

Tuesday: Craig's Pirate Queen
Craig had his first session on his Pin Up Pirate girl tattoo. His christmas present from me.

Wednesday: walking home late after more-wines-than-expected with McQuillan
Walking home late after more-wines-than-expected with McQuillan.

Thursday: possibly the brightest dress in the world
Inspired by a post by Evie Kemp I purchased what may possibly be the brightest dress in the world.

Friday: Dramatic morning, plane coming in
A plane coming into land on a dramatic morning in Wellington harbour.

Saturday: Graffiti by the Lagoon
Graffiti by the lagoon on what would turn out to be the world’s worst walk. I left in an excellent mood and returned home hating everyone and everything but mainly myself.



366 in 2012

366 in 2012

Sunday: Arcane at Waitangi Park
Craig, Chris, and I braced the cold to hang out in Waitangi Park and see Arcane, Les Philébulistes.

Monday: such a calm morning
It was a calm and sunny Monday morning. I almost wished I was on that yacht.

Tuesday: excellent red carpet photo
Bret McKenzie won an Oscar, yes, but more importantly he had an excellent red carpet photo.

Wednesday: I love the clocktower
Such a busy day, but the light was beautiful as I walked home.

Thursday: terrible day, repetitive photo
Another busy day. I inadvertently replicated the previous day’s photo.

Friday: walking home in the rain
There was a ‘weatherbomb’ heading to Wellington. I walked home in the rain.

Saturday: afternoon movie during the weatherbomb
Craig and I hid from the w-w-w-w-weatherbomb in the cinema*. Jumper and jacket and hat to brave the cold.



* we saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the Craig/Mara version) and it was excellent.